In south west Lancashire babes don't toddle, they side-step. Queuing women talk of 'nipping round the blindside'. Rugby league provides our cultural adrenalin. It's a physical manifestation of our rules of life, comradeship, honest endeavour, and a staunch, often ponderous, allegiance to fair-play.
I salute the contribution that Rugby League has made to Australia's national identity, it's a tough game. It started as a working man's game; it's become every man's game now. It still retains that working class character and that's part of its heart and soul and I hope it always does, but it is also a game that has reached out to the entire community.
This man cannot continue - and it must not be considered
— Great Britain team doctor Memoirs and Sporting Life of Tom Mitchell, By Tom Mitchell
In reference to captain Alan Prescott's broken arm at half time during the 1958 'Battle of Brisbane' test match against Australia. Prescott led his team to victory.
Since I finished playing rugby league, apartheid has ended, the Iron Curtain has come down and the Israelis have given up the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians. But I still can't play rugby [union] on a Saturday afternoon.
— Ian Birkby, player
Former Castleford Tigers player who had been prevented from playing socially for Cheshire rugby union club.
The clubs here represented decide to form a Northern Rugby Football Union, and pledge themselves to push forward without delay its establishment on the principle of payment for bona fide broken time only.
— Representatives of the senior clubs of Lancashire and Yorkshire
Resolution made at the George Hotel that led to the sport of rugby league football
You are playing in a game of football this afternoon, but more than that you are playing for England and more, even, you are playing Right versus Wrong. You will win because you have to win. Don't forget that message from home: England expects every man to do his duty.
— J. Clifford, manager
Speech before the "Rorke's Drift Test" in which the Northern Union regained The Ashes from Australia in 1914.
Rugby League was a game whose laws had been codified by workers in the forlorn north of England; miners and mill-workers of Bradford and Wigan, Hull and Warrington, were invaded by that peculiar genius which concerns itself with the serious business of human games, and produced what was the supreme code, a cellular structure composed of thirteen players which mimicked life and art and war so exactly that it became them.
So, in the closing of one season in triumph and some glory, and in the anticipation of the beginning of another, rugby league's cycle of the year continued. It had been 100 years since the game's pioneers had met on an autumn afternoon in England's north to write the first words of the story. Down the years there had been countless afternoons of courage and wondrous athleticism in the glorious uncertainty of the contest, men against men in the game that had been called the hardest of them all. In 1995 came a new challenge, a split that tore friend from friend, club from club; the game drew deeply then on the reserves of resilience that had always been its lifeblood and steeled itself to press on. As ever, the future lay with the youth, in the ancient and enduring image of young men pulling on the colours of their clubs and heading in spirit of mateship out onto the rough paddocks, in fair weather or foul, to play the winter game. The hand of the past reached out year by year to the hand of the future, passing on the tradition, the spirit, the very essence of the game they play. A game of hard knocks and fair play, of living with hurt and learning to win and learning to lose, of the joy of shared experience on the field of battle. Over 100 years the game has changed mightily but those things never, and that is rugby league.
— The rugby cycle by Ian Heads, That's Rugby League VEG, 1995